Progress Report -- Renard 65 Mini-Bulk Sample


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to provide a progress report on the dense media separation ("DMS") analysis of the approximately 17 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from the Renard 65 kimberlitic body during the winter 2003 program.

Renard 65 is one of the eight kimberlitic bodies discovered by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec. Diamonds weighing 0.92 and 0.26 carats were recovered from 821 kg of material collected from Renard 65 in 2002. On June 26, 2003, Ashton reported that a diamond of at least four carats had been found in core from one of the holes drilled in the northern portion of the body during the winter 2003 program.

The 17 tonne sample was collected during the winter 2003 program by drilling 15 core holes into the body. To date, 6.95 tonnes have been processed by DMS at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory and observed for diamond content. This portion of the sample came from the southern half of the body.

The 6.95 tonnes of material returned 2.35 carats of diamonds larger than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen. These results give this portion of the mini-bulk sample an estimated diamond content of 34 carats per hundred tonnes. The largest diamonds recovered were brown and pale brown dodecahedral crystals weighing 0.77 and 0.20 carats respectively.

The remaining material was collected from the core holes drilled into the northern half of Renard 65 and is currently being processed by DMS. The full results of the 17 tonne sample are now expected before the end of August.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Quebéc ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements of profitability.

Ashton is the operator of the joint venture's exploration programs. Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for their design and conduct, and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

For further information, please contact:          

Robert T. Boyd        -or-          Salimah Lalli            -or-         visit our website:
President and CEO                     Investor Relations            
(604) 983-7750                         (604) 983-7750